Position: Principal Investigator
My Personal Goal: "To develop a toolbox of novel technologies to target and re-program the tumor microenvironment, which provides innovative solutions for early diagnosis and effective treatment of cancer"
Location: ZH 254
I am a pharmaceutical and entrepreneurial scientist with a strong background in developing novel targeted therapeutics against fibrosis and tumor stroma. My research is highly multi-/inter-disciplinary integrating peptide technology, nanomedicine, biology of cancer and fibrosis, as well as bioengineering to address the biggest challenges in the field of the tumor microenvironment.
I obtained my PhD (cum laude) in 2006 from the University of Groningen on the topic “Renal-specific delivery of anti-fibrotic agents using lysozyme to treat renal fibrosis”. Thereafter, I worked as a Vice President – Preclinical Research at BiOrion Technologies with a joint position at the University of Groningen. During this period, I developed several products, which have been translated by BiOrion. Besides that, I co-supervised PhD students on the topics related to the cell-specific targeting to liver fibrosis. In parallel, I initiated a new research line on "tumor stroma targeting using peptide-based technology". To gain new knowledge and experience in the tumor stroma field, I joined the group of Prof. Arne Östman at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm by receiving two prestigious grants Swedish Cancer Foundation grant and Marie Curie Career Integration Grant. Shortly, I was promoted to Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology-Pathology of Karolinska Institutet. I also received Young Researcher Swedish Research Council Project award to develop anti-microRNA targeting approaches against cancer. In late 2012, I was appointed as Tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomaterials, Science and Technology, a part of the MIRA Institute (now called TechMed Centre), University of Twente. Since then, I have been focusing on the development of novel technologies aiming to modulate and emulate the tumor microenvironment.
With my invention of a novel peptide, in 2016, I founded a spin-off company ScarTec Therapeutics BV. ScarTec aims to develop novel therapeutic technologies for inhibiting scar formation and pancreatic cancer. ScarTec received NWO/TTW Take-off phase-1 and phase-2 funding earlier.
Recently, ScarTec has successfully obtained European Union's Horizon 2020 SME instrument phase-1 grant (FIBROHALT; 837418).
Tubantia Newspaper, “UT sets new steps in the treatment of pancreatic cancer”,
10 Nov 2017. https://www.tubantia.nl/regio/ut-zet-flinke-stappen-in-behandeling-alvleesklierkanker~a2caecdc/
U-Today, Science and Technology magazine “Novel treatment to kill cancer by targeting stroma”
Oct, 2017. https://www.utoday.nl/science/64599/unique-treatment-from-twente-effectively-kills-cancer
“KNCV Golden Master award 2017” to Marcel Heinrich
(PhD student under my supervision), for his master project in my group on "Lipids against Cancer". https://www.c2w.nl/verenigingen-8751/lipide-tegen-kanker/item19184